D66 Exception to Law Facilitating Political Party Ban

If it goes to D66, it will be easier for prosecutors to shut down a political party that seriously violates the rule of law. The clause now banning criminal motorcycle gangs should apply, among other things, to political parties.

Political parties are now excluded from the scope of this article of the Civil Code. D66 party leader Jan Paternotte says this exception should go away. “We say that in this period when democracy is under pressure everywhere, it cannot be allowed to undermine the rule of law unless there is a political party.”

The cabinet is working on its own party law, which should include a possible ban. Paternotte doesn’t want to wait for that. “It will take another year and a half before we see radicalization progressing rapidly in some parties in the Netherlands.”


It specifically refers to the Democracy Forum. “A lot has been said lately. From: We want to overthrow the government to: Violence is good because it can change things. We must take this seriously. Democracy is too good not to protect it.”

The statements made by Forum MP Gideon van Meijeren last Sunday caused confusion. He urged the people to go to the House of Representatives and stay there until the government resigns. He did not rule out injuries.

Paternotte believes this is very similar to what happened in the US in January 2021 when President Trump urged his supporters to attack the Capitol. As a result, five people died.

Many politicians, including Prime Minister Rutte, Minister of Justice Yeşilgöz and party leaders of other parties, expressed their reactions to Van Meijeren’s words. The public prosecutor examines whether they are punished or not. Debate flared over the possibility of shutting down parties that undermine democracy.

Paternotte leaves it up to the prosecutor to decide whether the Forum should actually be banned. “They can no longer decide on this, as it is an exception for political parties. This should be removed from the table.”

The ruling party joins Leiden professor of constitutional and administrative law, Wim Voermans. He said last month that ministers could bring the ban on political parties closer “with the push of a button”.

Is a ban ever democratic?

But the question is whether banning a political party is really that democratic. The party leader of D66 thinks: According to him, the possibility of such a ban may actually protect democracy.

“Democracy is fragile. Anyone can act, including parties that want to get rid of them. But that separates us from Russia and China, where there is no opposition. This is exactly why we must protect democracy. And therefore it will be able to take action against organizations that undermine the rule of law.”

Paternotte says that the objection that parties will be closed according to political preferences is also unfounded. “Such a thing does not happen all at once. And it’s not about the parties, it’s about the prosecutor.”

A call for an accelerated ban on subversive political parties was also discussed during last night’s parliamentary debate on the judicial budget. Van Meijeren, an MP from the Democracy Forum, strongly opposed this. “Dictatorships ban political parties,” he said.

Source: NOS